Sunday, 19 February 2012


I dreamt last night that I came across an imaginary perfume while in Selfridges, called VENISONWOOD. Red and black packaging, with a design of black bare trees against a scarlet sky, and tissue paper in the box the colour of dried blood. The fragrance itself (my dreaming perfumery nose said) was a rich oriental, heavy on the incense and with a peppery smokiness. If you think 'caramelising, brambly red wine jus' you're halfway there, but the fragrance swerved off into inedibility thanks to a dominant resinous-smoky accord. The notes were thus:

TOP: 'red-wine' accord (spiced stewed blackberries, juniper, tannin), a metallic-salty 'blood' accord

HEART: pepper-resin-caramel accord (benzoin, dragon's blood, black pepper, clove, frankincense); a very subtle rose-cumin angle

BASE: woodsmoke-musk (cypriol, aged vetiver)

It was gorgeous: think of the murky, fairy-tale quality of a medieval hall in winter---wine and honey, spiced meat oozing blood, woodsmoke from the braziers mingling with incense from Mass in the chapel.

Twenty minutes' tinkering with a dropper and my collection of perfumes and basenotes later, I have here a very reasonable approximation of VENISONWOOD, sitting on the desk in a small bottle. Eerie: something that never existed now exists, thanks to me having seen and smelled itfully-formed in a dream. I didn't create it: I merely copied it. It's enough to make one a Platonist.

NB I think if I were to flog it, I'd rename it HARTSWOOD.


Aelred Patrick said...

Until I 'grew' up, I held a heartfelt belief that dreams & imagination were just as real, tangible & contrary as our mundane existence in waking hours.

I once met someone, a stranger, in a dream & spent two days looking for them, such was the impact.

I'm not so fond & fey now; I sometimes regret it.

But this: this really is like walking into & out of another world & bringing something back with you.

Bo said...

It was exactly like that. I've just put some on, in fact!

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